the $50 netbook

John G. Heim jheim at
Fri Oct 9 13:39:03 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tim Chase" <blinux.list at>
To: "Linux for blind general discussion" <blinux-list at>
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: the $50 netbook

>> I have a laptop with 56 Mb of ram running debian squeeze and a speakup
> is that with a soft-synth or a hardware synth?  When I tried using a 
> soft-synth on an old P133 laptop with 32mb of RAM running Debian, the lag 
> was painfully noticeable.  External synth/braille hardware might ease 
> this, as might running off a flash disk instead of slow spinning platters. 
> And I was running "yasr" instead of speakup.  But those extra 24mb or RAM 
> may make a big difference in experience.

That could be. But it could also be your choice of TTS and the way you have 
it configured. I have tried festival, flite, and software dectalk but I have 
found espeak to be by far the most responsive. Although, people on the 
speakup list have told me that I probably just had festival misconfigured. 
If you configure it right, it might be as responsive as espeak. That doesn't 
seem likely to me but I'm no expert.

Anyway, it might be the extra 24 Mb of RAM but keep in mind that I was 
running apache, mysql, and samba servers and I still had excellent response 
time. I was taking my laptop with me to job interviews in order to 
demonstrate my networking abilities and show off my web apps. I'd plug my 
laptop into the network where ever I was interviewing, get an IP, and let 
them browse over to my laptop and run my web apps.  That was 4 or 5 years 
ago before there was a direct speakup to espeak connector. Now you can run 
espakup and you don't need speech-dispatcher.  So it is even more 

But I did get a lot of questions as to why my laptop speaks with a British 

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